Read Vice: New and Selected Poems by Ai Free Online
Book Title: Vice: New and Selected Poems|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.83 MB
v The author of the book: Ai
Edition: W. W. Norton Company
Date of issue: June 17th 2000
ISBN 13: 9780393320183
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books Vice: New and Selected Poems:Ai's collection is startling, difficult, and important. Selected from the five books preceding this collection - Cruelty, Killing Floor, Sin, Fate, and Greed - these poems tackle dangerous parts of the human spirit in ways that leave readers gasping for air. Her metaphors and similes are often spiritual, ranging from Lazarus to Eve to Saturn and Lucifer. They ask us to to challenge what we believe, as in, "how free is a woman? - / born with Eve's sin between her legs" (67) and show how preoccupations about God and religion course through human minds.
Ai uses sound to propel her poems, leaning more into "spoken word" rhythms and inertias as the years progress. For me, her use of sound is most successful in her earlier poems where she focuses more on image and lets rhythm move us more into sight. Beautiful dark lines like, "Night, that old woman, jabs the sun / with a pitchfork, / and dyes the cheesecloth sky blue-violet" (29) and "We strip away the tattered fabric / of the universe / to the juicy, dark meat, / the nothing beyond time. / We tear ourselves down atom by atom, / till electron and positron, / we become our own transcendent annihilation" (79) sing the images to us. As sound begins to take over in Greed and the new poems, the images feel weighted down and a bit more controlled by the sound. These poems also move into more current social and political allusions to figures such as Lee Harvey Oswald, Malcolm X, and James Dean. While these are strong poems dealing with difficult subject matter, they almost lose that dark and deep edge that I loved so much about the earlier pieces.
No matter how you nitpick, however, Ai's poems hit you like a truck and demand that you stand up again, keep turning the page. Often adopting new personas, Ai embodies the "vices" she describes in new ways in each poem. She does not shy away from the challenge of depicting the harsh realities of sin and cruelty, but rather embraces these personas with eerie accuracy. Joy Harjo calls this collection "frightening but necessary" and while sometimes the poems are hard to stomach, this is a book that forces us to wrestle with the demons in the world and the ones in the mirror.
Read information about the authorAi is a poet who has been said to be a mixture of Japanese, Choctaw-Chickasaw, Black, Irish, Southern Cheyenne, and Comanche. Her birth name was Florence Anthony but she changed her name to "Ai" which means love in Japanese.
Her poems have dark themes to them and contain violence, rape, and other subjects that aren't considered appropriate. She often writes from the antagonist point of view and has received heavy criticism for the graphic details in her poetry.
She was born out of wedlock. Her mother had cheated on her husband with her father. It is said her troubled childhood is the cause of her dark themed poetry.
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